How We Help
Our services begin with a comprehensive financial plan that addresses your goals and needs.
We begin by working to understand what's important to you, your habits with regards to money and what you want to achieve. With that understanding, we work with you establish financial goals and build a realistic, stress-tested financial plan. Wealth management is an extension of the comprehensive financial plan. For our wealth management clients, we implement the plan and provide ongoing investment management, and planning and financial advice.
Our planning services include comprehensive financial planning, portfolio design and special projects. Each is detailed below.
Comprehensive Financial Planning
Comprehensive financial planning as practiced by our company is a multi-faceted process that is centered around your financial goals. Some common goals include the following:
- Educational needs
- Large purchases, such as a vacation home
- Determine how best to handle a financial windfall
If you’re uncertain as to what your financial goals are, we can work with you to help define them. Once this is done, we move on to the more technical aspects of the plan, which can include:
- Goal-based planning
- Risk management and insurance planning
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
The goal-based planning involves establishing a plan, including necessary savings and assumed return needed to meet your financial goals. Your plan might well be fairly complex, including tax, inflation and investment return assumptions, along with stress testing to account for periods of poor market performance.
Risk management also plays a large role in the planning process, and insurance is one of the primary vehicles used in risk management. If assets and income are integral your plan and an unexpected event could put either at risk, we’ll work with you to identify those risks and determine how to address them. As fee-only advisors, we do not sell insurance, nor do we receive referral fees so we view insurance as a tool to mitigate risks and not as a source of income for our firm.
The last two facets often addressed in a comprehensive financial plan include tax and estate planning. Both of these elements address tax impacts and are meant to ensure that you and your heirs maximize after-tax wealth.
The financial plan provides a general recommendation of the type of portfolio you need based on your risk tolerance and return needs. This is often referred to as a portfolio allocation, and it provides a breakdown of what percentage of your portfolio should be invested in various market segments, or asset classes like large cap U.S. stocks, foreign bonds and so on.
If you would like more detailed recommendations of specifically what investments to buy and sell in each account in your portfolio, we provide that via our portfolio design service. Once the plan is complete, if you want to move forward with portfolio design, we take the recommended allocation identified in your plan and use it to formulate an investment policy statement which sets the overall investment strategy. Key considerations in the investment policy statement typically include:
- Risk tolerance, including the ability and willingness to take risk
- Return needs as outlined in your comprehensive plan
- Tax considerations, typically focused on maximizing after-tax returns
- Time horizon over which portfolio will fund needs
- Liquidity needs in the short-term
Once the investment policy is in place, we formulate specific account-by-account investment recommendations encompassing what should be purchased and what should be sold.
Our wealth management service is an ongoing service in which we work with you to implement your plan and investment recommendations. Once your plan is implemented, we manage your investments on an ongoing basis, maintain and update your financial plan and provide financial advice and tax estimates as needed. While most wealth management clients maintain their accounts at TD Ameritrade, we do have institutional access and technology solutions that allow us to manage retirement accounts, including 401ks, 403bs at educational and medical institutions and the Thrift Savings Plan.